The Ecology of Humans (25) The Intelligence System

The Intelligence System

General intelligence draws on connections between regions that integrate verbal, visuospatial, working memory, and executive processes. ~ German neurobiologist Jan Gläscher et al

Intelligence processing is distributed throughout the body. Numerous functions are autonomous. Nonetheless, mentation is greater than the sum of the physical parts when it comes to making sense of the world.

Organs and glands have some autonomy in meeting the needs they serve. Subconscious processes that alter under stress – such as heart rate and respiration – are regulated for readiness. The digestive system has its own intelligence system in accomplishing tasks essential to nutrient intake and distribution.

The peripheral nervous system is divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. Whereas the somatic nervous system transmits voluntary impulses, the autonomic nervous system is the nerve network for internal functioning that is usual subconscious.

The autonomic nervous system acts as a communication network for internal organs and glands. Autonomic functions include respiration, cardiac control, vasomotor activity, and reflexes such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting. The autonomic nervous system interfaces with the hypothalamus in the brain.

These are 3 divisions of the autonomic nervous system: parasympathetic, sympathetic, and enteric. The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with glands and organs. The sympathetic nervous system facilitates homeostasis and helps prepare the fight-or-flight response. The enteric nervous system aids digestion.

The pancreas is a complex factory for producing hormones. The pancreas regulates blood sugar level and tissue metabolism. The pancreas is an intelligent monitor and regulator which affects the entire body.

The spinal cord is one of the body’s main communication networks, comprised of glia and their neurons. The spinal cord also has primal processing capability. Witnessing violence evokes a strong response in the spinal cord: prompting a quicker readiness than cognitive processing could give. Emotionally neutral or pleasant experiences barely register with the spinal cord.

The physical intelligence system is thoroughly integrated, with all cell types instrumental. Neurons provide raw data to glial cells for transformation into information. Besides acting as a signal conduit, neural pathways perform some pre-processing for glia, which manage the physiological correlates to memory and other mentation.